Five Lexington firefighters sue state to clear names over EMT training scandal

Five Lexington firefighters who say they were incorrectly accused of shirking their responsibility to attend EMT re-training classes want the state to strike their names from its records on the scandal.

The five were among the first investigated by the state in an investigation into a scandal involving falsified certifications for EMT retraining. The Lexington firefighter in charge of retraining was charged with filling out certifications for the five and more than 30 other EMTs in the area.

But in a suit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, firefighters Joseph Foley, John Ritchie, George-Arthur Robinson, Mark Schofield and Kenneth Tremblay said they did nothing to warrant having their pay cut - and their names dragged through the mud.

All five said they missed a recertification class in March because of illness injury or, in one case, because the firefighter was in Pennsylvania getting advanced firefighting training. In fact, they say they didn't even know the class had been held, that they were surprised to get recertification cards, and that they then asked for - and took - actual retraining classes.

The five charge that in addition to the loss of pay from being unable to work as EMTs over part of the summer:

The actions of the Defendants ... constitute a deprivation of Plaintiffs' liberty interests, by issuing complaints that included false accusations of wrongdoing by the Plaintiffs, which accusations were publicized their communities and thereby caused irreparable harm to their reputations, without providing notice of the allegations against them or the opportunity to be heard in their own defense, all in violation of substantive Due Process as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Complete complaint.

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